The Top 10 Reasons I Can’t Write Romance

Part of my membership in the I’m Not Really Certain I’m Typical Female Nor Do I Want to Be Labeled as Such Club includes a general aversion to reading Romance. Naturally it follows that I have some distaste for writing it as well.

Today I realized I not only have a distaste; I am not certain I can write Romance. Why?

10. In terms of hormones, I’m a bit low on the ones interested in intercourse between animate beings.
Granted, I’ve had children nearly all of our marriage and they’re a bit of a killjoy that way…

9. I’m old and tired and just don’t care.
Now, get off my lawn, you young’uns!

8. I find cliché situations silly.
Whenever I’ve tried to write a romantic encounter, I laugh. I slip into over-the-top silliness, a twist, or simply give up.

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7. I think sex belongs in marriage, to the person one is married to.
Seriously, so many problems would be avoided that way. Logic belongs in love, right?

6. I therefore do not find infidelity exciting and alluring; rather, I judge the protagonist(s) for weak character(s).
Those people really need to grow up and get jobs instead of meeting in cafés all day.

5. In fact, I find romantic dialogue trying.
I’d rather skip ahead to …the end?

4. When given the option of a night on the town, I choose a book in the closet.
And it’s not a romance novel.

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3. I’ve never watched The Bachelor or anything like it.
This makes conversation with other females a bit limited, especially if I voice my opinions on such shows.

2. I do not find celebrities attractive.
Like with Number 6, I feel that they’re constantly making poor judgement calls. I like a few of them, but do not daydream about them moving in with me.

1. I am attracted to the ‘wrong’ sort of man.
People say there are all types. People say there’s no accounting for taste.
The problem is that book after movie after conversation assumes that ‘all women’ want a Bad Boy. All women are at least secretly turned on by an unkempt biker hiding a sexy set of muscles under that rough leather jacket.
Yeah, no. I’m like a zombie; I like brains.

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Sometimes I’ve tried, but I am me and need to write what I know. And who knows; maybe there are more not-all-women out there who think just like me. Maybe they’ll read my realistic romance books and love them.

Photo Credits:
Alejandra Quiroz
Eliott Reyna
Oleg Yeltsov

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Is Classic Literature All It’s Hyped up to Be?

Perhaps I’m odd, but I love many classic works of literature. I trust the rating that a piece is a classic, read it, appreciate what earns its title, and try to acquire a good copy for our home library. I feel that almost all are written well and/or demonstrate some extraordinary aspect that sets them above other literature.

Then again, some classics are boring.

Some are wordy.

A few have something that ruined the book as a favorite for me -and I do not speak of glaring grammatical sentences.

One of the first classics the public education system forced me to read was Silas MarnerThat one is in the Boring category, its primary failing. Even to this day, I do not know a redeeming characteristic of it. If one wants a good bite of rambling sentences, there’s James Joyce. If one needs historical literature, there are many alternatives. A treasure hunt? What about Treasure Island?

Silas Marner could also win for wordiest, but I’m more inclined to bump the phone book-sized The Three Musketeers to that position. To be fair to this assessment, I have not yet successfully gotten past the first third of the novel. Not even whilst I was on bedrest with my second pregnancy and had nothing better to do than stare at the walls and hope my previa moved was I able to get through it. Many, many classics are horribly wordy, yet the words are valuable. They are worth it. Instead of Three Musketeers, try The Count of Monte Cristo.

Last but not least is the failing category I am most interested in discussing: some thing that really bothered me in a classic. Sometimes in these cases, people hyped up the book. Others liked it; it’s acclaimed; it’s a classic. Surely it must be good, right?

One of my top entries in this grouping is The Great Gatsby. My criticism? I could not relate to any of the characters. At all. They were so unreal in behavior, thought, and action that I could never get into the story.

A second is The Screwtape Letters. I love C.S. Lewis. I wanted to love everything he wrote. As I read this famous work of his, however, I felt disappointed. I realized I expected Screwtape to be more insidious, more clever, more devious. Perhaps my experiences have been with a smarter and more subtle fiend?

A third and final classic for my chopping block is Wuthering Heights. I’m not a romance fan, in case people didn’t know, but I do read stories with romance in them. I like Jane Austen, for example. Wuthering Heights seemed far-fetched, perhaps. Mostly, like with Gatsby, I had little interest in the characters.

In retrospect, much of the reason I’ve found distaste with some classical literature is that I had to read them. That’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, though, because I doubt I’d have chosen to read them on my own.

Also, disliking a classic can have its benefits. Before The Grapes of Wrath in my senior year of high school, I’d never fallen asleep whilst reading.

As always, I am curious what others think. Are you a defender of all classical works to the bitter end? Are you one to agree with me, and nit-pick a few for failings? Do you not care so long as you can watch Colin Firth dive into a pond?

As my mother says, “Inquiring minds want to know.”

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—————-

I most certainly did not get wordy this week. Here’s what I did:
Wednesday, May 22: Wrote “If You Could Be Any Mythical Creature, What Would You Be?

Thursday, May 23: Nothing.

Friday, May 24: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations, again, to Bruce Goodman!

Saturday, May 25: Announced the 27th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is epic book or film series. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, May 26: “The Gatehouse,” in response to Sue Vincent‘s prompt.

Monday, May 27: Answered Peregrine Arc‘s prompt with “The Cell of Snares.

Tuesday, May 28:  Also nothing.

Wednesday, May 29: Today.

I also posted some at my motherhood site. I wrote “Mom, What Can I Do?,” and “Happily Ever After Is Possible, but It Requires an Epic Journey.”

 

Photo Credit:
Image by klimkin from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Eight

Yeah,” Wil said. “Harry.” She adjusted her backpack the best she could and glanced over at Reagan’s face. The girl appeared to be somewhere besides the crowded common room they were about to cross. “You all right, Reagan?”

Reagan’s eyes followed a blue spoon-shaped artwork on the wall before she returned Wil’s attentions. “What?”

“I asked,” Wil stressed the word, “If you were all right.”

A few teenagers brushed past them. “Hm …yeah,” Reagan answered. Another group walked between them, eyeing them; sending a nonverbal query as to why the two girls obstructed the base of the stairs.

“Oh.” Wil thought to elaborate; decided against it. “Well!” she said in a brighter tone, “Should we go see what the others want?”

“Oh!” Reagan blinked. “The thingie! -Yeah, Wil, let’s go!” She grabbed for Wil’s backpack again, but Wil was quick enough to pull it away this time.

“I’ll walk faster without the dragging.”

Reagan faced her, hand on hip and frown on face. “Alright.” Her tone did not sound convinced.

Wil smiled in innocence and started forward at a fairly quick pace. Pockets of chattering pupils and phone-hypnotized stragglers stood between her and the hallway to the lunchroom stairwell. She would have preferred a slower pace, but chose this over Reagan’s alternative.

With only a few stumbles and accidental shoulder-bumping, she and her impatient friend made it across. They turned and rushed down the stairs. Wil had enough spare thought to admire Reagan’s graceful descent compared to her own pell-mell lunges before she made it to the bottom without accident.

“Reagan,” she called, out of breath, just before the girl’s shadow turned the corner. The shadow stopped and looked to turn back. Wil stood and walked forward. “I. have. to. get. lunch. first,” she managed to say.

Reagan responded with another hand on hip pose. Wil took it as permission and headed to the counters.

“I’ll tell them you’re coming,” Reagan called. She left. Wil sighed in relief.

“What’s it today, dearie?” the smiling lunchlady asked. Her hair net head appeared more edible than the fare she offered, but Wil frowned and considered the options anyway. She needed to hurry, before Reagan changed her mind.

 

Continued from Eighty-Seven.
Keep reading to Eighty-Nine.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I look forward to this contest every week. I smile, laugh, feel slightly ill; then realize that I only get to choose ONE entry as winner.

Today, that winner is Joanne the Geek.

For You My Love

by joanne the geek

I love you so much, even with all my heart

but you can’t find any love for me at all

but with you I could still never bear to part

I’ll poison you and keep you stuffed in my hall

–♥–♥–♥–♥–

Congratulations, Joanne! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the competition every week is stiff. Most of the times I judge, I find myself drawn to three or four poems. After that, I have to search deep within them to suss out small details or turns of phrase that can set the poem apart and above the others.

This week; mostly everyone killed it with horrible rhymes, nailed awful story arcs, berated my poetic sensibilities with twisted romance, and left me gasping at an overall terribleness. Joanne’s poem did all that; plus I appreciated her ending. The meter and message left me hanging, wondering Wait -what? What did my love say to me? Short, sweet, pointed, terrible. Good job.

If I had a second prize to give, at least five of the following would tie for it. The rhymes, the messages, the “love…” You guys are amazing:

Take My Arm

by Trent McDonald

I really, really want to be your guy
I would rip out my heart for you
Chop of my head

Sure, an expensive gift I could buy
But parts of me are exclusive, there are few
Take too many and I’ll be dead

Well, actually I don’t want to die
Would ripping out my spleen do?
chop off a finger instead?

I hope you didn’t enjoy this poem 😉

—–

Yowza

by Peregrine Arc

Hello babe, I saw you from afar
I drove by in my shiny new Mustang car.
I smiled, flicked my bangs back just so
James Dean had nothing on me, as you know.
You smiled shyly, like the angel you are
And then your boyfriend leaned over to kiss the car.
“Here’s a twenty, thanks for bringing it around.
No scratches, I see. Safe and sound.”
I got out, handed over the keys
And scratched off a number on my valet receipt.
I could only stare as the tires went round
And hope the police would order an impound.

—–

One More Chance For The Unrequited Lover

by Bladud Fleas

So, the flowers I sent you
weren’t that fantastic
bought at a filling station
and made out of plastic
and you said plastic is bad for the planet
and I wrote on the card, “to my Jane”
when your name’s actually Janet
does it really mean I won’t get a kiss?
why should it mean you’ll give it a miss?

—–

Candy

by Doug

Why did you stand me up, my Dove,
Oh Dear Candy of June days, my Love
you misunderstood my allusion to
Ogden Nash day who used to say,
“Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.”

You are a diamond in the rough,
Is a diamond ring enough?

—–

Artificial Love

by Geoff

The Roses were red
Not that it mattered
Cos like my poor heart
With their rejection you shattered
Them both.

You blanked me all day
My life you are blighting
By coldly ignoring
The genuine plighting
Of my troth.

Do you think I’m too small
Could my voice be sexier
Just tell me your needs
And I’ll meet them forever
Your loving
Alexa…

—–

to lucy westenra i’m watching you

by count vlad dracula tepes

though you grew up on some farms
how could i resist your charms?

you may be only nineteen
and i five hundred thirteen

but thats fine with me you see
because im not so picky.

ill kill that doctor you love
and wear his skin like a glove.

then youll love me forever
no betrayal whatsoever.

—–

Be Bee Been Not to Be

by Doug

I’m not a “has-been”!
Love me in the now
now, now, now-ish

“har været” is a Danish,
a été is French
è stato is Italian
I’m a stallion immense
dense as a cloud now

—–

Why did you not?

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh my darlin’, oh my sweet
I loved you, yes, complete(ly)

You looked around me
Why? I beg you, gee!

My nose never dripped snot
I didn’t smell of rot

Was I too tall, ugly, or thin
What could I have done
To reign you in?

But now that we’re grown
And I’ve matured a bunch
I escaped a hell of a life
I now know that much!

Stay out of my dreams
You now make me scream
-with delight

Forever,
never yours

—–

Trying to Love You

by Michael B. Fishman

I sent you a puppy to show you my love.
You turned the poor thing into a first baseman’s glove.

I sent you a kitten to show you I care.
You shaved the poor thing so it had no more hair.

I sent you a toy, a cute Barbie doll.
You melted it by dunking her in raw alcohol.

I sent you a dove to show you my passion.
You sent me his bones after eating him with an Old Fashioned.

I walked to your door hoping for a dialogue.
You said some strange words and turned me into a frog.

I hopped on back home and got lost in St. Paul.
I called you on the phone but you didn’t answer my call.

I hopped back to your door hoping that you’d put me back.
You said more strange words and gave me a bad panic attack.

I begged you to slow down my speeding heartbeat.
You said more strange words and poof – I was a parakeet.

I flew around in circles and was chirping in tones.
You muttered something about a skull and crossbones.

I perched on your screen door feeling frustrated.
You said go away or you’ll find yourself castrated.

I asked if you’d turn me back into a human.
You said, “What’s the middle name of Harry S. Truman?”

I said, “I don’t know, may I have another question?”
You just stood there staring with an odd facial expression.

I said, “Please restore me and I’ll leave you alone.”
You said more strange words and I was in a NASA space cone.

I said, “Bring me back please and you won’t see me again.
You muttered something under your breath that sounded like, “Amen”.

I was back down on earth and I said, “Can I ask one last question?”
You said, “Only if you want to see more magical aggression.”

I thought that I didn’t so instead I just said, “Bye.”
You just looked at me harshly with one squinted eye.

I walked down her sidewalk and turned ‘round the bend.
And that’s where my story of unrequited love comes to an end.

Then I stopped and made just one quick backward glance.
You shouted, “Keep going. You don’t have a chance.”

—–

Your Love Haunts Me

by Doug

I’d die for your sultry voice,
for an answer to my last missive.

I loved you at the mountain venue:
drums and guitar on cliff in blue

I loved the oblivion in your voice, your
devouring sorrow and sudden run.

If only you could have loved me
I’d have loved you too, a bump
to have jumped with you

Come haunt me and
I will love your ghost
at the bottom of the cliff.

—–

let me in

by Violet Lentz

she lurks just
outside my window.
from the shadows
she implores,
“let me in.”
-eyes so wide,
so innocent.
she taps lightly
on the pane
and whispers,
“i’m scared.”
“let me in.”

she lurks just
outside my window.
it should be so easy
to just open it,
and let her in..
but instead,
i draw the blind
so i can’t see her
i write poems,
i paint with words,
and i pretend.

that the scared,
little child
just outside
my window
is not me-
i don’t long,
to let her in.

—–

If You Duck Love, How Will You Swim?

by Doug

Once we played ping-pong in the rain
following the arrows to Reign Park, and

I know you loved
the pitter-patter of rain
although too

Cupid’s ping pang pain of love
rolled off you like
rain off a duck’s back

I don’t walk like a duck though
and you’re a beautiful swan

—–

One Soul

by Härzenwort

Even if your silence weren’t quite so loud

If you didn’t wear it like a shroud

This pain of yours would still be mine

I counted seven, eight and nine

Ten on a scale from one to none

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Beyond the count of time are these our fears

Under and above a show of tears

For in this sleep of life what dreams may come

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

No purpose, no cause. Yet each other we affect

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Ten on a scale from one to none

I count to seven, eight and nine

This pain of yours is also mine

I only wish you wouldn’t wear it like a shroud

That your silence weren’t quite so loud

—–

Thanks, again, to all who entered! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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Joanne: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven

As Reagan near-dragged Wil out of the art room and down the hallway of classrooms and lockers, Wil couldn’t help but recall Art’s tease that their helpful friend was “domineering.” She tried to get a word in, or at least a trailing sneaker. “Reagan, I-”

Drag.

“But, wait! I-”

“No time, Wil!” Yank.

Wil might have found herself in a helpless twist of clothes and backpack at the lunchroom door if, at the exact moment they passed the office, her captor had not looked back to reprimand Wil’s sluggishness. As such, neither girl anticipated the collision with the exiting boy.

“Ouch!” he said. “What the- Wil!

Wil saw Reagan’s impending curse die on her lips. “Harrison?” she said instead.

Harrison’s face clouded into a scowl. He turned to face Reagan; both she and Wil noticed his bandaged hands.

“Oh,” Reagan said. “Sorry.”

He shrugged a bit, and then had to readjust the folder and book in his arms. His face still scowled. “I don’t mind the burn.” He glanced at Wil, especially at her own, small bandages. “It’s the name.” As he saw understanding cross Reagan’s face, he said, “I’m ‘Harry.’

He turned back to Wil without waiting for a response. He smiled at her. “Hey! D’ya have my phone?”

Wil blinked to recover from his abrupt manner. She was still processing that they’d crashed and that she was not still being pulled. Her eyes focused on the white, bandaged hands before her; traveled up to Harrison’s -Harry’s- face. He had an expectant expression. He’d asked her a question, something about a phone…

“Oh!” Wil said, blushing. “Yeah! I just realized I still had it, but couldn’t remember your name-”

“Harry,” Harry said.

Wil blushed more, if possible. “Right; yeah.”

He stood, still expectant.

“Oh! The phone!” Wil tried to grab for it with her bandaged hand, causing Harry to try to help her, but they both stopped when they realized neither could grasp it.

“Erm, Reagan?” Wil asked. She looked at her friend, but Reagan seemed a little lost. She seemed to be watching something near Harry’s face, or near his startlingly-blue eyes. Wil tried again. “Reagan!”

“Hm- Yeah?” her former captor turned to Wil.

“Uh.” Wil wasn’t accustomed to a speechless Reagan, though she didn’t know the girl very well yet. Maybe her carpool neighbor was sarcastic and talkative with their lunchtime group but not anywhere else. “Could you get Harry’s phone out of my pocket and give it to him?”

Reagan blinked.

“Please?” Harry asked. His tone sounded nicer than before, but still impatient.

Reagan looked back at his eyes; nodded. She reached forward, extracted the cell phone, then gingerly slid it into the side pocket he offered.

“Thanks.” he told her. Smiling a white flash of teeth at Wil, he added, “And thank you, Wil.” He laughed. “Now, I’m gonna try to eat. See ya!” He pushed past the gaping Reagan and a few other teenagers milling around the area and headed down the stairs to the lunchroom.

Wil sighed in relief. “Well, I’m glad I got his phone back. I didn’t even know his name!” She started walking toward the stairs as well; Reagan followed. “He seems like kind of a jerk, though,” she observed.

“Who, Harriso- Harry?” Reagan sounded surprised.

 

Continued from Eighty-Six.
Keep reading to Eighty-Eight.

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, celebrating nineteen weeks of unruly writing behavior. It’s also my birthday; which, as an adult and a mom, means…

If you’re new, confused, and/or need directions; read my how-to about terrible poetry. Writing terribly is more of an art form than one might think, and the poets of every week prove that.

Play along! It’s fun! Here are this iteration’s rules:

  1. Our Topic is Unrequited Love. It’s those times when that Special Someone has someone on her mind besides you…
  2. Since we’re talking love, keep the poem’s Length to a Hallmark card message or so.
  3. Should you Rhyme? YES, this time.
  4. The Terribleness is most important. The object of your affections must sit up and pay attention to your heartfelt soliloquy, only to beg that she really, really needs to powder her nose for the next …lifetime.
  5. We want your love to run for the hills, but not because of profanity. Keep things PG or classier.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 29) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. Then I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

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Photo credit:
Fezbot2000